What Young Families Should Look For In A Home

Happy Family Day To Everyone!

Happy Family Day To Everyone!

It’s Family Day in many cities in Canada, including in Calgary where I live with my wife and daughter, so Happy Family Day to my family and the many others all over Calgary and elsewhere in Canada who are celebrating today! But it’s a regular work day for me, so I was thinking that to pay tribute to this day, I’ll talk about family in this post — particularly young families, of which we have many in Calgary! One question that these families, often first-time home buyers, ask is, “What should I look for in a home?”

Before you set your sights on that new home, there are a number of important factors that you should consider. These factors have to do with both the home itself and the area where the home is located. Only by doing so will you help make sure that you’re making a wise decision with both your money and the time and future commitment of your family members.

Is it safe?

Safety is a prime concern of all people, but it is much more important for vulnerable chlidren. Make sure the area you’re moving to has an active government that keeps a tight lid on crime and puts a premium on law and order. Check out public records, and go around the community and try talking to people to see if you’ll feel safe and welcome. As for the house itself, is it child-friendly? For example, does it have a steep staircase? Is the play yard fenced?

Is there a good school in the area?

Among the most important factors that a family with young children should consider when looking for a home are the kids’ schools. Are there good schools in the area? If you plan to live there for some years, check out not only the elementary school, for example, but also the middle school and high school. There are Canadian school ratings available online that make it easy for parents to know if their children could get the education all children deserve in the area they’re planning to move to.

Is the location good?

Another important factor to consider about any home is the location. When shopping around for either the home of your dreams or a starter home (whatever the situation may be), keep away from heavy traffic arteries and power lines. Consider also the area where you work and its proximity to the neighborhood you’re looking at. Can you easily and quickly get where you want to?

Is the house sellable?

Regarding the house itself, one of the most important factors to consider its sellability. Younger families are highly likely to move up in time. A house that might be perfect for young families with small children may not be suitable anymore when those kids get a little older or if that family grows. Take a look at the configuration of the house and all of its features and find out if you could sell it in the future if you needed to. You’ll also want to consider the condition of the home and how long that home has been looked-after.

Are your finances stable?

Finally, always consider your finances very carefully before making any type of decision with regard to the home you’re trying to purchase. Don’t over-buy and get yourself into trouble financially.  Always consider not just your current financial situation but also the one you expect to have in the future, as well. Don’t purchase beyond your means and you will likely do just fine.

Buying your first home is a truly exciting time, but nothing beats living in a home that you’ve chosen well based on these five tips above!

 

Calgary is a great place in which to settle down, raise a family, find work and live a healthy lifestyle. For your real estate needs in this booming city, call me at 1-403-259-4141 or toll-free at 1-877-259-4141, or connect with me through my website at http://www.calgaryrealestate-goodrealtor.com. I’ll put my nearly four decades of real estate experience combined with cutting-edge Internet marketing technologies to work for you!

About Glenn Good

 is a Realtor® and the owner of Glenn Good Realty Inc.  under RE/MAX Realty Professionals. He has nearly four decades of experience in selling homes, the last half in Calgary, where he grew his business staunchly from referrals. A native of Fredericton, New Brunswick, he moved to Calgary in 1995 after residing for 27 years in Edmonton. Glenn combines his “old-school” real estate expertise with the latest Internet marketing technologies to help his clients get the best results when buying or selling. He is a devoted husband and father, and is now helping his wife and daughter grow their virtual assistant business for real estate agents. He also loves walking around his neighborhood, exploring his country and the rest of the world, and capturing truth and beauty through photography.

Somerset Real Estate: Demographic Profile

Image Courtesy of Robert Thivierge

If you are looking at purchasing a home, it is important for you to consider the demographic profile of the entire neighborhood. You may think you have found the perfect home; but if you later see something wrong with the community or later feel you do not fit in, you will not be happy with your move and will most likely decide to move again sooner than you had planned to. Here’s a quick introduction to the people in the Somerset neighborhood — see if they’re the right fit for you.

A Young and Growing Population

Somerset is a new and still-developing community that is now also one of the younger communities in Calgary. Children’s laughter certainly fill the air, and about seven out of 10 people are 44 years old or younger, with families making up 87% of the population. Young families are drawn to Somerset because it is in the southwest, and it is affordable and only a short trip to all the fun places in the city.

Stable Neighborhood

Though the geographic area of Somerset is relatively smaller than that of other neighborhoods in Calgary, the average home price is above $300,000, nine out of every 10 homes are owned, and most homes are relatively new — built in the 1990s and well-maintained. Seven out of every 10 homes are single-detached, two are apartments, and the rest are townhouses and low-rise condos.

Do you now feel you know the people of Somerset better and that you and your family will be happy purchasing Somerset real estate? I invite you to do better; come over and let me introduce them to you in person! There is nothing like looking people in the eye, talking to them, and sharing an activity or two with them to make you know for sure if, indeed, they are your kind.

Calgary is a great place in which to settle down, raise a family, find work and live a healthy lifestyle. For your real estate needs in this booming city, call me at 1-403-259-4141 or toll-free at 1-877-259-4141, or connect with me through my website at http://www.calgaryrealestate-goodrealtor.com. I’ll put my nearly four decades of real estate experience combined with cutting-edge Internet marketing technologies to work for you!

About Glenn Good

 is a Realtor® and the owner of Glenn Good Realty Inc.  under RE/MAX Realty Professionals. He has nearly four decades of experience in selling homes, the last half in Calgary, where he grew his business staunchly from referrals. A native of Fredericton, New Brunswick, he moved to Calgary in 1995 after residing for 27 years in Edmonton. Glenn combines his “old-school” real estate expertise with the latest Internet marketing technologies to help his clients get the best results when buying or selling. He is a devoted husband and father, and is now helping his wife and daughter grow their virtual assistant business for real estate agents. He also loves walking around his neighborhood, exploring his country and the rest of the world, and capturing truth and beauty through photography.

Other Real Estate Links

Calgary City Information

OTHER REAL ESTATE LINKS

www.sior.com Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®S
http://www.u-r-home.com/ CANADIAN REAL ESTATE LINKS
http://www.myhouseandgarden.com/ My House and Garden – Homemaking Cookery etc.
http://www.canlinks.net/display/realestate/ Canadian Real Estate Links
http://1st-spot.ca/ab.php Alberta link directory
http://www.realestate-canada.com/ The Canadian Real Estate Pages are a source
for real estate information in Canada. This site was designed
to help home buyers, REALTORS®, real estate agents and For Sale
by Owners (also known as FSBO) meet in one place to buy and
sell homes, recreational property, commercial real estate etc.
In addition, it is a place where individuals can find rental
information, answers to real estate questions, financial
information and even contractor information.
AJ Real Estate  – Your online resource for Real Estate!
http://business.searchbeat.com/realestate.htm Search Beat – the one stop web guide

CanadaRealEstateDirectory.com
 – Canada Real Estate Directory
World Real Estate
Directory – PropertyTrek
features FREE website links for Canada real
estate related services plus FREE private sale website
listings constructed online!
International Real Estate Directory  International Real Estate Directory
http://www.iowarealty.us/ Real Estate in Des Moines area with Iowa Realty
http://www.eured.com European Real
Estate Directory

 

 

Real Estate Links

Calgary City
Information

Important Real Estate Links

www.realtor.com U.S. Residential Listings
www.mls.ca Canadian residential listings
www.cls.ca Canadian commercial listings

www.albertafirst.com
Alberta commercial listings

www.loopnet.com
U.S. commercial listings
www.cls.ca Canadian commercial listings

www.gov.ab.ca/realty
Alberta government infrastructure site

www.realtorlink.org
REALTOR® member site
www.creb.com Calgary Real Estate Board
www.ereb.com Edmonton Board
www.har.com Board site with commercial section
www.inman.com U.S. commercial newsletter

www.pikenet.com
U.S. commercial newsletters

www.e-space.com
Canadian commercial newsletter

www.peregrine.com
U.S. property management information
www.ccim.com Commercial U.S. education site
www.alsa.ab.ca Alberta Land Surveyors

www.rliland.com
REALTORS Land Institute
www.reca.ca Real Estate Council of Alberta
http://www.remonline.com/ The Real Estate Magazine
www.boma.org BOMA International

www.bomacanada.org
BOMA Canada
www.boma.ca BOMA Calgary
www.bomaedmonton.org BOMA Edmonton
www.bomacanada.ca The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada
www.icsc.com International Council of Shopping Centers
www.ifma.org International Facility Management Association
www.nacore.org International Association of Corporate Real
Estate Executives
www.naiop.org International Association of Office and
Industrial Parks
www.realpac.ca REALpac is Canada’s senior national industry association for owners and managers of investment real estate.
www.crea.ca Canadian Real Estate Association
www.reic.ca Real Estate Institute of Canada

www.abrea.ab.ca
Alberta Real Estate Association
www.aref.ab.ca Alberta Real Estate Foundation

Alberta Land Centre
Alberta Land Centre
www.calapt.com Calgary Apartment Association
www.irdc.org International Development Research Council

www.globest.com
Globe Street

www.brokertech.net
Broker Technology Network

www.propertymanagerz.com
Property Managers

www.cityfeet.com
City Feet

www.buildingsnet.com
Building Net

www.workspeed.com
Work Speed

www.space4lease.com
Space4Lease

www.sitestuff.com
Site Stuff

www.e-space.com
E-Space

www.realinsite.com
Insite

www.vandema.com
Vandema

www.commrex.com
Commercial Real Estate Exchange
www.crewnetwork.org National Network of Commercial Real Estate
Forum

www.reforum.com
The Real Estate Forum

www.property.com
Dealmakers

www.thedeal.com
The Deal

www.hqglobal.com
HQ Global Workplaces

 

 

 

Real Estate Glossary

RE/MAX of Western Canada:  Real Estate Glossary

Term
Definition

Amortization
The period of time required to reduce a debt to zero when payments are made regularly. Amortization periods are most often 15, 20, or 25 years long.

Anniversary
Most lenders allow borrowers to make a payment on the anniversary of the mortgage. (For a mortgage assumed on June 1, a payment can be made every subsequent June 1 for the term of the mortgage.) It is applied against the principal and is a good way of reducing a loan.

Appraisal
A process that determines the market value of a property.

Appraised Value
An estimated value of a property that is completed by a certified appraiser for mortgage financing.

Approved Lender
A lending institution authorized by the Government of Canada to make loans under the terms of the National Housing Act. Only Approved Lenders can negotiate mortgages that require mortgage insurance.

Assumption
A legal document signed by a homebuyer that requires the buyer to assume responsibility for the obligations of a mortgage by the builder or original owner.

Balanced Market
Where demand for property equals the supply of available property. Sellers usually accept reasonable offers and houses generally sell in sufficient time periods. Prices remain stable and there is usually a good number of homes to choose from.

Blended Payment
A mortgage payment that includes principal and interest. It is paid regularly during the term of the mortgage. The payment total remains the same, although the principal portion increases over time and the interest portion decreases.

Building Permit
A certificate that must be obtained from the municipality by the property owner or contractor before a building can be erected or repaired. It must be posted in a conspicuous place until the job is completed and passed as satisfactory by a municipal building inspector.

Buyer's Market
When there is a higher number of homes to choose from than buyers in comparison. Prices of homes tend to be lower and they remain available for sale longer. Buyers usually have more leverage in negotiating a purchase.

Closed Mortgage
A mortgage loan that has a locked-in payment schedule, which does not vary over the life of the closed term. A buyer who uses a closed mortgage will likely have to pay the lender a penalty if you fully repay the loan before the end of the closed term.

Closing Costs
Costs, in addition to the purchase price of a home, such as legal fees, transfer fees, and disbursements, that are payable on the closing date. Closing costs typically range from 2%-4% of a home's selling price.

Closing Date
The date on which the sale of a property becomes final and the new owner takes possession.

CMHC
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. A Crown corporation that administers the National Housing Act for the federal government and encourages the improvement of housing and living conditions for all Canadians. CMHC also creates and sells mortgage loan insurance products.

Collateral Mortgage
A mortgage that secures a loan by way of a promissory note. The money borrowed can be used to buy a property or can be used for another purpose, such as a home renovation or a vacation.

Commitment Letter / Mortgage Approval
Written notification from the mortgage lender to the borrower that approves the advancement of a specified amount of mortgage funds under specified conditions.

Conditional Offer / Conditions of Sale
An Offer to Purchase that is subject to specified conditions, for example, the arranging of a mortgage. There is usually a stipulated time limit within which the specified conditions must be met.

Conventional Mortgage
A mortgage loan up to a maximum of 75% of the lending value of the property. Mortgage loan insurance is not required for this type of mortgage.

Covenant
A clause in a legal document which, in the case of a mortgage, gives the parties to the mortgage a right or an obligation. For example, a covenant can impose the obligation on a borrower to make mortgage payments in certain amounts on certain dates. A mortgage document consists of covenants agreed to by the borrower and the lender.

Conveyancing
The transfer of ownership of any property or real estate from one person to another.

Deed
A legal document, which is signed by both the vendor and the purchaser transferring ownership. This document is registered as evidence of ownership.

Default
Failure to abide by the terms of a mortgage loan agreement. A failure to make mortgage payments, defaulting on the loan, may give cause to the mortgage holder to take legal action to possess (foreclose) the mortgaged property.

Deposit
A sum of money placed in trust by the purchaser when an Offer to Purchase is made. The real estate representative or lawyer holds the sum until the sale is closed, and then it is paid to the vendor.

Discharge of Mortgage
A document signed by the lender and given to the borrower when a mortgage loan has been repaid in full.

Down payment
The portion of the house price the buyer must pay up front from personal resources, before securing a mortgage. It generally ranges from 5%-25% of the purchase price.

Easement
A right acquired for access to or over, or for the use of, another person's land for a specific purpose, such as a driveway or public utilities.

Encumbrance
A registered claim for debt against a property, such as a mortgage.

Equity
The difference between the price for which a home could be sold and the total debts registered against the home. Equity usually increases as the outstanding principal of the mortgage is reduced through regular payments. Market values and improvements to the property also affect equity.

FHLI
First Home Loan Insurance - This is a CMHC product of particular interest to people looking for their first home. It allows qualified first-time buyers to purchase a home with as little as 5% down. In these cases, CMHC will insure mortgages of up to 95% of the home's purchase price or the market value of the property, whichever is less. (Restrictions may apply. Contact your local lender.)

Foreclosure
A legal procedure in which the lender gets ownership of the property if the borrower defaults on the mortgage loan.

Gross Debt Service Ratio
The percentage of the borrower's gross income that will be used for monthly payments of principal, interest, taxes, heating costs, and half of any condominium maintenance fees.

High-Ratio Mortgage / Insured Mortgage Loan
A mortgage loan in excess of 75% of the lending value of the property. This type of mortgage must be insured - for example, by CMHC - against payment default.

Holdback
An amount of money withheld by the lender during construction of a house to ensure that construction is satisfactory at every stage. A standard holdback is 10% of the total cost of the building project.

Interest
The cost of borrowing money for a given period of time. Interest is usually paid to the lender in installments along with repayment of the principal loan amount.

Interest Adjustment Date (IAD)
A date from which interest on the mortgage advanced is calculated for regular payments. This date is usually one payment period before regular mortgage payments begin. Interest due between the date the mortgage is advanced and the IAD is due on closing.

Interest Rate
The rate at which you pay interest to the lender. For example, when the mortgage balance is $100,000, and the interest rate is 6 per cent, one single annual payment will include $6,000 interest. More frequent payments will result in different amounts.

Lending Value
The purchase price or appraised value of a property, whichever is less.

Loan-to-Value Ratio
The ratio of the loan to the lending value of a property expressed as a percentage. For example, the loan-to-value ratio of a loan for $25,000 on a home which costs $100,000 is 25%.

Lien (Mechanics)
A claim against a property for money owing. A lien may be filed by a supplier or a subcontractor who has provided labour or materials but has not been paid. A lien must be properly filed by a claimant. It has a limited life, prescribed by statutes that vary from province to province. If the lien holder takes action within the prescribed time, the homeowner may be obliged to pay the amount claimed by the lien holder. Alternatively, the lien holder may force a sale of the property to pay off the debt.

Maturity Date
The last day of the term of the mortgage agreement. On this day the mortgage loan must be paid in full or the agreement renewed.

Mortgage
Security for a loan to purchase property. It is the purchaser's personal guarantee to repay the loan and a pledge of the property as security for the loan.

Mortgage Life Insurance
Insurance to pay off your mortgage in full if you die. Many lenders offer this insurance and add the premium to your mortgage payments. However, you may want to compare rates for equivalent products from an insurance broker.

Mortgage Loan Insurance
Insurance required by lenders for high-ratio mortgages (more than 75% of the purchase price). It is available from CMHC or a private insurer for a cost of between 0.5% and 3% of the amount of the mortgage.

Mortgage Payment

A regularly scheduled payment that is blended to include both principal and interest.

Mortgagee
The lender who provides the mortgage loan.

Mortgagor
The borrower who pledges the property as security for the loan.

Net Worth
A person's total financial worth, calculated by subtracting total liabilities from assets.

NHA Premium
Insurance required by lenders for high-ratio mortgages (more than 75% of the purchase price). It is available from CMHC or a private insurer for a cost of between 0.5% and 3% of the amount of the mortgage. The premium can be added to your mortgage loan and paid off as part of your regular mortgage payments, or paid off in a lump sum at the time of purchase to save interest charges on the premium itself.

Offer to Purchase
A written contract setting out the terms under which the buyer agrees to buy. If accepted by the seller, it forms a legally binding contract subject to the terms and conditions stated in the document.

Open Mortgage
A type of mortgage loan where the borrower can make a partial or full payment of the principal amount at any time, without penalty.

Option Agreement
A document stipulating that, in exchange for a deposit, a specified individual is to be given the first chance to buy a property at or within a specified period of time. An option holder who does not buy at or within the specified period loses the deposit and the agreement is cancelled.

P.I.T.
Principal, Interest, and Taxes - payments due on a regular basis under the terms of a mortgage agreement. Generally, payments are made monthly and include one-twelfth of the estimated annual municipal and school taxes. Since these taxes change from year to year, this section of the mortgage will change accordingly.

P.I.T.H.
Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Heating - costs used to calculate the Gross Debt Service ratio (GDS).

Portability
An option available on a mortgage that enables the mortgagor to take their current mortgage loan with them to another property without penalty.

Pre-Approved Mortgage
When a lender approves the potential mortgagor for a specified amount, based on how much money the lender is prepared to lend to the borrower. This allows buyers to shop for homes that they already know they can obtain financing for and not homes that are potentially too expensive, or out of the borrowers means to finance.

Prepayment Privileges
Allows the borrower to make voluntary payments on the mortgage loan, in addition to the regular, scheduled mortgage payments.

Principal
The amount of money borrowed.

Property Purchase or Land Transfer Tax
A toll paid to the provincial and/or municipal government(s) for transferring property to the buyer from the seller.

RealtorAE
A trademark name for a real estate representative who is a member of an organization of persons engaged in the business of buying and selling real estate, such as the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Refinance
To pay off a mortgage or other registered encumbrance and arrange for a new mortgage, sometimes with a different lender.

Regular Mortgage
With this type of mortgage, you pay between 10% and 25% of the cost of the home as a down payment. The remaining balance is the amount of the mortgage loan required. A high-ratio mortgage requires mortgage loan insurance. CMHC offers it for a premium of 0.5%-3% of the mortgage amount. This fee can be added to your mortgage payments or paid in full on closing.

Renewal
At the end of a mortgage term, the borrower re-negotiates the loan for a new term.

Second Mortgage
An additional mortgage on a property that already has a mortgage.

Seller's Market
More buyers are looking for homes than there are homes for sale. There is a smaller inventory of homes available for sale and many buyers looking to purchase. House prices generally increase and homes sell quickly.

Strata or Condominium Fee
A payment made by all owners of condominiums or townhouses within a particular complex that is allocated to pay expenses such as maintenance, repairs and management costs.

Statement of Adjustment
A balance sheet statement that indicates credits to the vendor - for example, the purchase price - and any prepaid taxes and credits to the buyer, such as the deposit, and the balance due on closing.

Survey
A document that illustrates the property boundaries and measurements, specifies the location of buildings on the property, and indicates any easements or encroachments.

Term
The length of time during which a mortgagor pays a specific interest rate on the mortgage loan. The entire mortgage principal is usually not paid off at the end of the term because the amortization period is normally longer than the term.

Title (freehold or leasehold)
Legal possession. A freehold title gives the holder ownership of land and buildings for an indefinite period of time. A leasehold title gives the holder a right to use and occupy land and buildings for a defined period of time. In a leasehold arrangement, actual ownership of the land, sometimes along with the buildings, remains with the landlord.

Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS)
The percentage of gross annual income required to cover all payments for housing and all other debts, such as car payments.

Variable-rate Mortgage
A type of mortgage with fixed payments but fluctuating interest rates. The change in current interest rates doesn't alter the amount of the mortgage payment, but determines how much of each payment is applied against the principal amount and how much goes to pay interest to the lender.

Vendor Take-Back Mortgage
Mortgage financing arranged between the seller of the property and the buyer. Often this type of loan is a second mortgage, which the seller is willing to arrange at below market rates to allow the buyer to purchase the house. Most of these arrangements are not renewable or transferable to the next owner of the house.

Zoning Bylaws
Municipal or regional laws that specify or restrict land use.

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